Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has taken aim at Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe for surfing a week after a hamstring injury after his quiet second half in the Dockers’ win over St Kilda.
After injuring his hamstring in Round 4 against Gold Coast, Fyfe missed just one match, before returning in Round 6 and had an immediate impact with 15 first-half disposals.
However, the skipper was played as the deepest forward in the second half and managed just three disposals, sparking questions as to whether he had re-injured his hamstring.
Cornes questioned the decision for Fyfe to surf with surfing legend Mick Fanning, saying it wasn’t a good look.
“Now I’m not sure how much he participated in the surfing action and how rigorous it was, but this is a week after doing a hammy,” he told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“When the game was on the line in the last quarter, he’s nowhere to be seen. You’ve got the best centre bounce clearance player in the competition sitting at full forward. He had three disposals in the second half and only one in the last quarter.
“I hope for Fremantle’s sake and for Nat Fyfe’s sake there isn’t an injury issue with that hammy because I reckon it’s going to look pretty ordinary if you’ve got an issue and you’ve been out surfing.
“I don’t get the obsession with AFL players having to do extra-curricular activities during the season. You’ve got 15 weeks holiday at the end of the season to go surfing, wake-boarding, or do whatever you want.
“I’m not sure it’s a great look for a captain coming off a hamstring injury to be surfing a week out from a hammy injury.”
However, Fyfe’s teammate Michael Walters defended his skipper’s decision to surf, citing that it was a sign that his hamstring injury may not have been as bad as initially suspected.
“Fyfey’s a pro, he knows what he can and can’t do,” he told the AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“I know for a fact that if his hamstring was as bad as what people think, he wouldn’t have been out there surfing.
“That’s something with him and the medicos. I wasn’t sure how bad his hamstring was, (but) he played on the weekend, which was good.”
Fellow AFL greats Matthew Lloyd and Nathan Brown also failed to see an issue with Fyfe surfing during his own time.
“Nat Fyfe is active and likes to have a surf, so be it. If he does do his hamstring, that is up to Nat Fyfe and the club to deal with. People have got to live their lives, Kane,” Brown said.
Lloyd added that Fyfe’s forward move could ultimately work to the betterment of Fremantle’s side, giving youngsters like Andrew Brayshaw added midfield time.
“I thought he was still in their best four players,” he said.
“You know what? Maybe it’s the best thing for Fremantle because they’ve relied on Fyfe too much and Andrew Brayshaw’s had his best two weeks in his career (without Fyfe).
“The couch Longmuir said it was just something they wanted to do, it had nothing to do with his hamstring. You might not believe that, but I think it’s extremely harsh.”